Cops Find 31 Decomposing Bodies At Funeral Home: 'A Very Unpleasant Scene'

Cops Find 31 Decomposing Bodies At Funeral Home: 'A Very Unpleasant Scene'


  • Tips about a strong smell from the facility led to the discovery
  • The 31 bodies found were in various stages of decomposition
  • Cops also found cremated remains of 16 people at the scene

Jeffersonville, Indiana -- An Indiana funeral home is under investigation after police found 31 dead bodies at varying stages of decomposition in the facility.

Investigators believe some of the bodies have been at the funeral home since March.

The disturbing discovery was made after police received tips about a strong odor coming from the Lankford Funeral Home and Family Center in the Louisville suburb of Jeffersonville, according to AP News. Officers wore hazmat gear and searched the property Friday to find 31 bodies, including some “in the advanced stages of decomposition,” Maj. Isaac Parker said.

The bodies were located “in different places around the building” along with the cremated remains of 16 other people, Parker said.

“It was a very unpleasant scene,” he added. “The conditions were not good.”

The remains were sent to the Clark County Coroner's Office, which is working to identify the bodies, The Courier Journal reported.

"We understand that this is going to be a situation where we're really going to need the assistance of these families," Parker said, according to the outlet. "I'm sorry that they've already suffered a loss and now they're dealing with this situation. We ask anybody that has information to please reach out to us."

Jeffersonville residents expressed concern after the bodies were found.

"This is just a little town," Kenney Kersey told WHAS. "It's shocking for the people here."

Kersey, whose family ran a funeral home business in southern Indiana for 160 years before its recent shut down, said he met with the owner of Lankford Funeral Home, Randy Lankford, about two to three years ago. Lankford had just opened the business at the time.

The man said he was given a tour of the facility and felt concerned about Lankford leaving the bodies unrefrigerated. "Looking back, after what happened, it does seem fairly odd," Kersey added.

Derrick Kessinger, who approached Lankford after the deaths of his father and wife, said Lankford seemed great at first but suspicious later.

"We noticed a really bad smell," he told the outlet. "Like if you were standing over a dead animal."

Kessinger thought the smell was normal for a funeral home. He also said he later received his wife’s ashes from the funeral home but still has not received the ashes of his father’s despite trying for weeks. "Awe man, it's sick. It's just sick. it really is sick," he said.

Following the discovery of the 31 bodies, Kessinger was not sure if it was really his wife’s ashes that he received from the funeral home.

No arrests were reported.

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